Chicken Katsu Curry
Anyone who is into Japanese food knows that katsu curry is wickedly wonderful. What makes it stand out from other curries is that the meat is breaded and fried before having a luxurious silky curry sauce slathered all over it. I’ve used chicken here, but I have also eaten this made with juicy king prawns or with pork tenderloin, both equally delicious. Offering crunch, spice and sauce, this is real comfort food.
- 100g flour, seasoned with lots of salt and pepper
- 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
- 200g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 100ml groundnut or vegetable oil
- steamed rice and salad to serve
- For the curry sauce:
- 1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp medium curry powder
- 600ml chicken stock
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then throw in the carrots and cook slowly for 10 minutes with the lid on, giving the odd stir occasionally. You want to sweat the vegetables until softened and starting to caramelise.
Stir in the flour and curry powder and cook for a minute. Slowly pour in the stock bit by bit until combined (do this gradually to avoid getting lumps). Add the honey, soy sauce and bay leaf and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes. The sauce will have thickened and taken on all of the flavours, although you still need it to have a pouring consistency. Add the garam masala, then pass the sauce through a sieve. (Some people might like a chunky sauce, so feel free not to strain it, but I prefer it nice and smooth.)
Now prepare the chicken. Lay the seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs on separate plates. Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the breaded chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Slice the chicken diagonally and serve with the sauce drizzled over, steamed rice and salad.